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Sunday 8th April 2018

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Total Number of Property118 Comments: 4


18:11 PM, 2nd June 2018
About 3 years ago

Section 24 hits our Armed Service men and women

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 02/06/2018 - 01:13"Service personnel will be more affected by section 24 than most (any?) other professions.
Suggest you read the paper and appendices before commenting further"
Thank you. I have now read the report. Now that I have done so, I can only assume that either you have not read it yourself, or that you thought I would not read it once you provided a link.
The theme of the report is regarding the general living situation of service personnel and their families, and how this is affecting the ability to attract/retain personnel. The focus is on the quality and location of SLA and particularly SFA and the ability of non-service family members to lead fulfilling lives/careers while in SFA right now and in the future.
Additionally, its focus is on changes to these provisions that are being discussed due to the on-going and future cost of renting back the estate that was effectively sold off to Annington Homes in 1996. Yes, 1996. Gordon Brown would be proud of his Conservative predecessors' timing of this sale. The National Audit Office has of course branded the sale "poor value." (p. 9)
Section 24, not even mentioned by name, is referred to, briefly, in two sentences of page 12 of the 40 page report, almost as an aside while discussing the actual issues that are the focus of the report.
For those who have not read the entire report, which I suspect at the time of this post is everyone on this site, I encourage you to at least read the Recommendations section that starts on page 32. There you will see just how concerned the report's authors are with Section 24. It is not referred to once in the recommendations. It is certainly not suggested that Section 24 be reversed.
But just how many service personnel are going to be affected by Section 24? Well, the 59% highlighted in the original post is of course irrelevant. The percentage of personnel who own their own home is 49% (p. 15). So less that half straight away. You can focus on the 59% of families if you want, but that is just going to make the numbers affected even smaller. And I get the impression that many of these, while living away during the week, return to their own homes at weekends.
So what about hard facts? How many actually rent out their homes? Well, "the number of military who have bought their homes on a buy-to-let basis is not reported." (p. 15). Which begs the question, on what do you base the assertion that "Service personnel will be more affected by section 24 than most (any?) other professions"?
My original questions are still relevant and unanswered. How many personnel rent out their property? How many are going to be thrust into the higher tax bracket when the average income is according to you, £33k? They can receive £12k pa in rent with no problems. That is before taking into account efficiencies achieved with married couples. Just how many people are going to be affected in reality, and how much is it going to cost them? Not much judging from the above, which is why the report barely mentions it.
If service personnel are using BTL for investment purposes, the fact that they are service personnel is irrelevant. If they are using BTL to secure their own home for when they leave the services, the report mentions ways that this can be achieved. Scrapping Section 24 does not appear to be one of the suggested methods.
But let us say this is actually a problem. I am sure we can find a way to mitigate this just for the services. Focus groups were consulted, and page 24 of the report states:
"What became clear was that both groups considered the military to be ‘exceptional’, when compared with other areas of society, and that bespoke rights and products ... should be a feature of military life."
So there we have it. Bespoke rights for service personnel. Perhaps a carve out? Something can be done just for them, and the public will almost certainly be behind it.
Problem solved.
I thank you for your selfless concern for the welfare of service personnel, but if I were you I would leave this subject alone.
By the way, you advised me to read all of the appendices. I have now done so and find them to be irrelevant to our discussion. Can you be more specific as to where in the appendices I should be looking?... Read More


20:29 PM, 1st June 2018
About 3 years ago

Section 24 hits our Armed Service men and women

A weak article with almost no facts. How many service personnel are actually affected? Not many I am sure. There is a real danger that this "we just care about other people" approach is going to back fire on landlords. I would be very careful exploiting service personnel for propaganda purposes. Which is what this is.

-How many service personnel rent out their property when abroad?
-How many of those will need a BTL mortgage to carry on doing it?
-How many of those will be thrust into the higher tax bracket as a result given how poorly paid they are?
-How many of those will actually lose money as a result, rather than just making less?
-How many landlords have expressed public concern in the past for service personnel when it comes to their finances?... Read More


19:03 PM, 7th May 2018
About 3 years ago

Tenant Fees Ban - Measures affecting Landlords and Agents

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 07/05/2018 - 16:54
In effect, some of agents' income is getting redistributed to self managing landlords. Your point illustrates how agents cannot possibly pass on all of the fees.... Read More


18:16 PM, 8th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Supply of London rental properties at critical point

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 01/03/2018 - 14:24
"This piece looks like a bit of special pleading because agents can't charge often exorbitant fees to tenants and can't threaten them with eviction if they don't sign a new tenancy and pay a new fee instead of sticking with a periodic tenancy."

There is a very good reason the article reads like that. I used to be in the lettings industry a while back. What a sleazy business. Been to the ARLA conferences etc., including listening to David Cox speak live. All ALRA is is a company that sells products and services to the letting agent industry. Those services that they sell include government lobbying efforts. The idea that it is a regulator is ridiculous. Being in that industry really opened my eyes to what "self regulation" is really all about.

Other ways ARLA makes money:
- Selling education/training to letting agents
- Selling sponsorship of conferences
- Giving conference speech time to other entities such that they can give a sales presentation masquerading as information dissemination.
- Selling pitch space at conferences for various other vendors to flog their wares to the lettings industry
- I am sure there are plenty I do not know about

I have had to sit through all sorts of presentations where it is simply someone trying to flog their wares. Ex-Apprentice contestants (very unimpressive BTW, doesnt understand stats), bloke who apparently has a show on TV where he evicts people, the laughable people growth type corporate games stuff, all the mediocre waste-of-time nonsense you see in mediocre businesses.

Always read ARLA material from the point of view that they are a business trying to survive and grow bigger first and foremost. Then its job is to lobby government to achieve as favourable an outcome as possible for the letting agent industry in legislation. (The more profitable LAs, the more profitable ARLA.) Any attempt to present views as looking out for anyone other than ARLA and letting agents is simply not true. Letting agents are their clients, and it is their job to help them make as much money as possible. It is not ARLAs job to *effectively* regulate or fix a broken market, and they in no way make any attempt to do that. That would be a conflict of interest. Government ministers should bear that in mind when being lobbied by ARLA. Everything ARLA says should be seen through the lens of ARLA trying to protect ARLA revenue and LA profit. This is simply fact.

Which organisation recently lobbied very hard for "regulation" of the lettings industry, to include client money protection, "training" for all employees, membership of industry body, all the things that ARLA happen to sell? You guessed it, ARLA was lobbying very hard for that. Read More